Fertilizing a lawn is a common practice among homeowners. However, sometimes people want to know how often they should fertilize their lawn. There are various factors that come into play when determining how often you should fertilize your lawn, but in general, it’s recommended to do so once or twice per month during the growing season. If you have any other questions about what type of fertilizer to use or why your grass isn’t greening up as much as usual, please read the article below.
Use a fertilizer that is right for the type of grass you have
Make sure to read the instructions on your fertilizer carefully. Water after you fertilize. This will help activate any nutrients that are in the soil or spreader settings when it is supposed to be active for them to take effect. The time of year can affect how often you should fertilize, so please check out our other blog posts about fertilizing in the fall and winter for more information.
Apply fertilizers to dry, not wet soil
Fertilizers should only be applied to dry grass, not wet. This is for two reasons: first, if you apply fertilizer on top of wet or damp soil it can cake and burn the roots of your lawn as they absorb water from the ground; second, fertilizers begin working almost immediately when exposed to sunlight and air so applying fertilizer to a wet lawn can burn the grass as soon as it’s applied.
Avoid fertilizing during hot summer months
The best time to fertilize your lawn is during the spring and fall. This is when grass growth rates are increased due to lower temperatures, increased sunlight hours, and higher humidity levels in the air. Applying fertilizer outside of these times can cause burn damage or long-term effects on how well your grass grows throughout the year.
As you can see, there are various reasons why you should take your time when fertilizing or overseeding. The amount of daylight in the winter months can also play a factor so please read our blog posts about overseeding in the fall and spring for more information on how to properly care for your lawn depending on what type it is.
Fertilizing cool-season grasses
Fertilizing cool-season grasses such as rye, bluegrass and fescue should occur in late winter or early spring before the weather gets warm. This will encourage faster growth throughout the year as well as help your lawn to green up earlier than other surrounding grass types that haven’t been fertilized yet.
Applying fertilizer during the fall months will help your cool-season grasses remain green throughout the year.
Applying fertilizer during the summer is not recommended unless you live in an area with very high humidity or rainfall because it can cause brown spots to form on your lawn, however, if this does occur then simply rake up dead grass and aerate any compacted areas of dirt.
Re-fertilizing during the fall or winter months will help keep your lawn green throughout the year and provide it with nutrients that may have been lost due to heat, drought conditions, rainfall amounts, etc.
Fertilizing warm-season grasses
Warm-season grasses such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia should be fertilized during the spring or summer months depending on what part of the country you live in.
In southern states, it’s recommended to apply fertilizer from April until September so that your lawn can stay green all year long. In northern climates where cooler weather lasts longer, fertilizing your lawn in the late summer or early fall is recommended so that grass doesn’t go dormant during the winter months.
Applying fertilizer after a heavy rainfall will dilute its strength and may cause it to be ineffective until dry weather returns. Be sure that you’re applying fertilizer before then if this occurs!
Fertilizing after seeding
Fertilizing after seeding your lawn may be necessary depending on what type of grass you have, the amount of sunlight it gets, and how often it rains.
The best time to fertilize newly seeded areas is when new growth appears about two weeks after planting if there’s been no rain in that time period. If rainfall has occurred then you’ll have to wait until it’s completely dry before applying fertilizer, otherwise, the newly seeded areas may get burned.
Lawns that are allowed to grow long and lay dormant during winter months will need to be fertilized in early spring when new growth begins to appear or after heavy rainfall has occurred so that grass doesn’t go into an active state and die.
This blog post was written by our team of lawn care experts who strive to help you achieve the best-looking grass in your neighborhood!
Weed killer and fertilizing
For those of you who are using weed killers with your fertilizer, make sure that they don’t contain any herbicides as this will cause damage to the roots and/or plant life in your lawn.
If you’re fertilizing an area where there’s already been a weed killer applied then there should be no concern unless it was done recently before you fertilized.
Weed and feed products with fertilizer in them will usually say “weed control” on the label while those without it will be labeled as a “fertilizer.” Do not apply weed killers that don’t have this information listed because they may burn your lawn’s roots or plant life!
Overfertilization can lead to brown patches on your lawn
Fertilizing too often can lead to brown patches on your lawn. This is because some types of grass are more sensitive than others and need time to recover between fertilization applications. If you applied fertilizer in the winter, it’s not recommended that you apply again until spring unless instructed by an expert.
Always wear protective clothing when using chemical fertilizers
When using chemical fertilizers, make sure to always wear protective clothing such as gloves and long sleeves. This will help prevent any accidental exposure which can lead to irritation or other problems for your skin.